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But here, without further explaining, he begged for the present that we might conclude, being sufficiently, as he said, fatigued with the length of what had passed already. The request was reasonable, I could not but own; and thus ended our conversation, and soon after it our walk.

the original principle of change, or of ceasing cause, for the sake of which the thing is to change ; as, for instance, the person who done. Thus the cause of exercising is deliberates, is the cause of that which re health. For if it be asked, Why does he sults from such deliberation ; the father is use exercise ? We say, To preserve his the cause of the son ; and, in general, the health : and having said thus much, we efficient, of the thing effected; the power think we have given the proper cause." changing, of the thing changed. Besides Arist. Natur. Auscult. L. ii. c. 3. these causes, there is that also which is See also p. 20. considered as the end ; that is to say, the

A DISCOURSE

ON

MUSIC, PAINTING, AND POETRY.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION. DESIGN AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE WHOLE.

PREPARATION FOR THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS.

All arts have this in common, that they respect human life. Some contribute to its necessities, as medicine and agriculture; others to its elegance, as music, painting, and poetry.

Now, with respect to these two different species, the necessary arts seem to have been prior in time;a if it be probable, that

• The following extract from a manu- την υπερβολήν των ευρημάτων είς θεόν την script of Philoponus may help to shew the τούτων επίνοιαν ανέφερον. comparative priority of arts and sciences, Πάλιν, απέβλεψαν προς τα πολιτικά by shewing (according to this author) the πράγματα, και εξεύρον νόμους, και πάντα order of their revival in a new-formed τα συνιστώντα τας πόλεις και ταύτην society. Such society he supposes to have πάλιν την επίνοιαν σοφίαν εκάλεσαν arisen from scattered individuals again as- τοιούτοι γάρ ήσαν οι επτά σοφοί, πολιτικές sembling themselves, after former societies τινάς αρετάς ευρόντες. had, by various incidents of war, famine, Είτα λοιπόν, δδώ προϊόντες, και επ' αυτά inundation, and the like, been dissipated τα σώματα, και την δημιουργών αυτών and destroyed.

προήλθον φύσιν, και ταύτην ειδικώτερον Having spoken of the effects of Deuca- φυσικήν εκάλεσαν θεωρίαν, και σοφούς lion's Hood, he proceeds as follows: Ούτοι τους την τοιαύτην μετιόντας σκέψιν. ουν οι περιλειφθέντες, μη έχοντες όθεν αν Τελευταίον δ' επ' αυτά λοιπόν έφθασαν τραφείεν, επενόουν υπ' ανάγκης τα προς τα θεία, και υπερκόσμιας και αμετάβλητα χρείαν, οίον το αλήθειν μύλαις σίτον, και το παντελώς, και την τούτων Γνώσιν κυριωτάσπείρειν, ή τι τοιούτον άλλο και εκάλεσαν την σοφίαν ώνόμασαν. την τοιαύτην επίνοιαν σοφίαν, την εις τα “ These, therefore, that were thus left, not αναγκαία του βίου το λυσιτελές εξευρίσκου- having whence they could support themσαν, και σοφόν τον έπινενοηκότα.

selves, began through necessity to contrive Πάλιν επενόησαν τέχνας, ώς φησίν και things relative to immediate want, such as ποιητής,

the grinding of corn by mills, or the sowing • υποθημοσύνησιν 'Αθήνης, it, or something else of like kind; and such ου μόνον τας μέχρι της εις τον βίον ανάγ- contrivance, discovering what was conducive κης ισταμένας, αλλά και μέχρι του καλού to the necessaries of life, they called wisdom ; και αστείου προϊούσας και τούτο πάλιν and him a wise man, who had been the σοφίαν κεκλήκασιν, και τον ευρόντα σοφόν contriver. ώς το,

“ Again, they contrived arts (as Homer σοφός ήραρε τέκτων, says). Εν ειδώς σοφίης ..

By precepts of Minerva ; υποθημοσύνησι δ' 'Αθήνης είπεν, έπει διά that is, not only those arts that stop at the

men consulted how to live and to support themselves, before they began to deliberate how to render life agreeable. Nor is

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necessity of life, but those also that advance 'Ελευθέρους αφήκε πάντας θεός· ουδένα
as far as the fair and elegant: and this, too, dowlov ň púois netonkev, “God hath sent
they called wisdom ; and the inventor, a forth all men free ; nature hath made no
wise man.
Thus the poet:

man a slave.”
The work

Our third observation is, that by “the 'Twas a wise artist fram'd, his wisdom taught most excellent science," in the last paragraph, By precepts of Minerva.

is meant the science of causes, and, above The last words are added, because, from the all others, of causes efficient and final, as transcendence of the inventions, they re- these necessarily imply pervading reason, ferred their contrivance to a divinity. and superintending wisdom. This science,

“ Again, they turned their eyes to matters as men were naturally led to it from the political, and found out laws, and the se- contemplation of effects, which effects were veral things that constitute cities, or civil the tribe of beings natural or physical, was, communities : and this contrivance in its from being thus subsequent to these phyturn they called wisdom, and of this sort sical inquiries, called metaphysical ; but were those celebrated seven wise men, the with a view to itself, and the transcendent inventors of certain virtues political. eminence of its object, was more properly

“ After this, still advancing in a road, called Ý Tpútn piaooopla, “ the first phithey proceeded to corporeal substances, and losophy." to nature, their efficient cause ; and this Our fourth observation is on the order of speculation, by a more specific name, they these inventions ; namely, arts necessary, called natural speculation, and those persons arts elegant, arts political, science phywise, who pursued such inquiries.

sical, science metaphysical ; in all, five “ Last of all, they attained even to habits, or modes of wisdom. The necessary beings divine, supramundane, and wholly arts it is evident must on all accounts have unchangeable ; and the knowledge of these come first. When these were once estathey named the most excellent wisdom.” blished, the transition to the elegant was

A few observations on this important easy and obvious. Inventions of necessity, passage may not perhaps be improper. by the superadditions of despatch, facility,

Our first observation is, that though we and the like, soon ripened into inventions give it from Philoponus, yet is it by him of convenience; and again these, having in (as he informs us) taken from a work of their very nature a certain beauty and Aristocles, an ancient Peripatetic, entitled, grace, easily suggested inventions of pure TIepi $inocopias, “Concerning Philosophy." and simple elegance. Some, indeed, have conjectured, that for That the legislators, though in rank and Aristocles, we ought to read Aristoteles, genius far superior to all natural philobecause the last published a work under sophers, should come before them in point this title, which he quotes himself in his of time, is owing to the nature of their treatise De Anima. Be this as it may, subject, which had a more immediate conthe extract itself is valuable, not only for nection with man, and human happiness. its matter, but for being the fragment of a It was not, indeed, till societies were treatise now no longer extant.

thoroughly established, and peace had been Our next observation is, that by “matters well secured both internally and externally, political,” in the third paragraph, the author that men had leisure, or even inclination, means, not the first associations of mankind, to reflect on the objects round them, or to for these were prior to almost every thing recognise that vast mansion in which they else, and were not referable to art, but to found themselves existing. the innate impulse of the social principle: Lastly, as the tremendous part of phyhe means, on the contrary, those more ex- sical events led weak minds, who could not quisite and artificial forms, given to societies resolve them, into the abyss of dark and already established, in order to render them dreary superstition ; so those of the same happy, and rescue and preserve them from kind, wbich had beauty and order, being in tyrannic power. Such was the polity given their turn equally striking, and equally obby Lycurgus to the Lacedæmonians, by jects of admiration, led strong and generous Solon to the Athenians, by Numa to the minds into principles the very reverse. Romans, &c. Those great and good men, They conceived it probable, as their own in meditating their institutions, had the views were limited, that, even where beauty same sentiment with Alcidamas, according and order were not to them apparent, they to that noble fragment of his, preserved might still in others' views have a most real in the scholiast upon Aristotle's Rhetoric, existence. Further, as these observers could

this, indeed, unconfirmed by fact, there being no nation known so barbarous and ignorant, as where the rudiments of these necessary arts are not in some degree cultivated. And hence possibly they may appear to be the more excellent and worthy, as having claim to a preference, derived from their seniority.

The arts, however, of elegance cannot be said to want pretensions, if it be true, that nature framed us for something more than mere existence. Nay, further, if well-being be clearly preferable to mere-being, and this without it be but a thing corrtemptible, they may have reason perhaps to aspire even to a superiority. But enough of this; to come to our purpose.

II. The design of this discourse is to treat of music, painting, and poetry; to consider in what they agree, and in what they differ; and which, upon the whole, is more excellent than the other two.

In entering upon this inquiry, it is first to be observed, that the mind is made conscious of the natural world and its affections, and of other minds and their affections, by the several organs of the senses. By the same organs, these arts exhibit to the mind imitations, and imitate either parts or affections of this natural world, or else the passions, energies, and other affections of minds. There is this difference, however, between these arts and nature; that nature passes to the percipient through all the senses; whereas these arts use only two of them, that of seeing and that of hearing. And hence it is, that the sensible objects, or media, through which they imitate, can be such only as these two senses are framed capable of perceiving; and these media are motion, sound, colour, and figure.

perceive nothing done either by themselve A man of ingenuity might find rational or those of their own species, which, if it amusement from this speculation, by comin the least aspired to utility, or beauty, paring the same nation, as to these matters, was not necessarily the effect of a conscious either with itself in different periods, or and intelligent cause, they were, from the with its neighbours in the same periods, superior utility and beauty of physical either past or present. He might, for exeffects, induced to infer a conscious and in- ample, compare ancient Britain with antelligent cause of these, far superior to cient Greece ; present Britain with present themselves ; a cause, which from the uni- Greece ; Britain in the age of crusades, versality of these events, as well as from with Britain in the age of Elizabeth ; pretheir union and sympathy, was not, as are sent Britain with her colonies, with Italy, the sons of men, a multitude of limited France, Holland, and the enlightened councauses, but a simple cause, universal and tries; with Spain, Portugal, Barbary, &c. one ; a cause, too, which, from the never- But this we leave, as foreign to our work, ceasing of its events, was not, like the same and drawing us into a theory, which merits human beings, an intermittent cause, but a a better place than an occasional note. cause, ever operating, ever in energy. • Oύ το ζήν περί πλείστου ποιητέον,

We see, therefore, the reason why this 'Αλλά το ευ ζην. first philosophy was subsequent in point of

Plat. in Critone. time to physical speculation, and why of c To explain some future observations, course to the other habits or modes of it will be proper here to remark, that the wisdom here enumerated, though in its mind from these materials thus brought own dignity and importance far superior to together, and from its own operations on them all.

them, and in consequence of them, becomes Our fifth observation is, that as a nation fraught with ideas; and that many minds may be said to be in a state of perfection, so fraught, by a sort of compact assigning which is in the full possession of all these to each idea some sound to be its mark habits, or modes of wisdom; so those na- or symbol, were the first inventors and tions are nearest to perfection, that possess founders of language. See Hermes, lib. iii. them in the greatest number, or in a state cap. 3, 4. of the greatest maturity.

Painting, having the eye for its organ, cannot be conceived to imitate, but through the media of visible objects. And further, its mode of imitating being always motionless, there must be subtracted from these the medium of motion. It remains, then, that colour and figure are the only media through which painting imitates.

Music, passing to the mind through the organ of the ear, can imitate only by sounds and motions.

Poetry, having the ear also for its organ, as far as words are considered to be no more than mere sounds, can go no further in imitating, than may be performed by sound and motion. But then, as these its sounds stand by compact for the various ideas, with which the mind is fraught, it is enabled by this means to imitate, as far as language can express; and that it is evident will, in a manner, include all things. Now from hence may be seen, how these arts agree,

and how they differ.

They agree, by being all mimetic or imitative.

They differ, as they imitate by different media : painting, by figure and colour; music, by sound and motion ; painting and music, by media which are natural; poetry, for the greatest part, by a medium which is artificial."

III. As to that art, which, upon the whole, is most excellent of the three, it must be observed, that among these various media of imitating, some will naturally be more accurate, some less; some will best imitate one subject, some another. Again, among the number of subjects there will be naturally also a difference as to merit and demerit. There will be some sublime,

e

• To prevent confusion, it must be ob- e See note c, page 27. served, that in all these arts there is a dif- ? A figure painted, or a composition of ference between the sensible media, through musical sounds, have always a natural rewhich they imitate, and the subjects imi- lation to that of which they are intended tated. The sensible media, through which to be the resemblance. But a description they imitate, must be always relative to in words has rarely any such natural relathat sense, by which the particular art ap- tion to the several ideas, of which those plies to the mind; but the subject imitated words are the symbols. Nonc, therefore, may be foreign to that sense, and beyond understand the description, but those who the power of its perception. Painting, for speak the language. On the contrary, instance, (as is shewn in this chapter,) has musical and picture-imitations are intellino sensible media, through which it operates, gible to all men. except colour and figure : but as to sub- Why it is said, that poetry is not unijects, it may have motions, sounds, moral versally, but only for the greater part affections, and actions ; none of which are artificial, see below, chap. iii., where what either colours or figures, but which, how- natural force it has, is examined and estiever, are all capable of being imitated mated. through them. See chap. ii. notes i, j, k.

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